Tuesday, July 15, 2008


My three times great grandmother Arvilla Ames West was
born on 26 Jan 1810 in Livermore, Oxford County, Maine
and died on 25 April 1907 in Hermon, Oxford Maine at the
age of 97. During the course of that long life much occurred
and much changed in the American way of life.

There were 4 wars in her lifetime: The War of 1812, The
Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American
War. She lived through the terms of 23 presidents. James
Madison was in office when she was born, and Theodore
Roosevelt was in office when she died. Three Presidents,
Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley were assassinated, and
Andrew Jackson survived an attempted assassination.

There were 17 states when Arvilla was born. There were 45
before she died. A few months after her death, the 46th,
Oklahoma, joined the Union. She would have known her
grandfathers, Revolutionary War veterans John Ames and
John Griffeth and possibly others who'd taken part in the
founding of our nation.

Arvilla struggled with the rest of the nation through five
financial panics that occurred in the years 1819, 1837, 1857,
1873, 1893, and died while the nation was in the throes of
the panic of 1907.

Americans either invented or perfected such marvels as
the telegraph, the telephone, the phonograph, the elevator,
motion pictures and the electric light bulb. Houses went from
using oil lamps to using electricity for lighting.

People went from traveling by horses to railroads to
"horseless carriages" and the first airplane was flown by
the Wright brothers.

Arvilla gave birth to 10 children and had over 30 grandchildren
and many great grandchildren. She outlived 4 of her children
and 4 of her great grandchildren.

We today talk about how quickly our world changes because
of the advances in science and technology. But we have been
born into an age of technology and we are used to new
discoveries happening nearly everyday.

Our ancestors, people like Arvilla Ames, were born at the end
of the previous age. For them, their whole world changed at
a much more drastic way than ours does, mostly for the
better but in some cases for the worse.

What an lifetime of miracles it must have seemed to Arvilla

Written for the 52nd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy

1 comment:

Apple said...

Arvilla did live through an amazing time. I have looked at the changes that took place during the lifetimes of various ancestors but I never thought about their connection to the past through the generation or two that preceded them - Great point!

She also lived during the 2nd Great Awakening and the beginning of the Women's Suffrage movement. Undoubtedly other social changes that I'm just not thinking about right now too.